Seventieth with Friends

61559424_10102951316724621_3512808606997151744_oBy Bill Wylie-Kellermann

June 2, 2019

the day’s measure is more fleshy far,
more soulful even
than circles, however sweet, around our brother sun,
warming the planet this day
toward the end of an aeon.

the circles around a fire, a song or table
long precede the breaking waters of Middy’s womb,
taking in the rooted communion of ancestors and saints
who cast on me their face and form,
as even the one first mother.

they embrace the near beloved,
family weaving through house and block like fruited vines
where grandchildren and more, way more,
clamber the branches to come,
all loving toward justice in the end.

so say, it’s communities which count
this septuigint,
my book of years are gratitudes in group–
birthed and covenanted
wed in study and praise
as spirited as incarnate
intentional or conceived in happenstance,
action circles learning discernment in contemplation of risk,
growing by the open door
holding decisions and griefs, seeding hope
beside the poor the halt
clustered in movement – the love and the struggle
or simply hanging in for this long haul.
I can give them names.
my heart does.

and you, who gather this night,
gaze into this flame and ash,
see one another, see me,
and represent
them all.

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